You’ve caved in and decided to cater instead of cooking for all 50 of your guests- and who can blame you? Make sure that you know what you’re ordering. Some vendors do an hourly rate and others do servings. Dictating the amount of servings is a good way to make sure all your guests are fed, and you’ll end up with some nice leftovers! Assume all your guests are coming, and add one person for every ten who has RSVP’d. Some will eat more, and some will eat less, but at least they will be covered.
Try to put drinks on the opposite side of the party. It will encourage flow throughout your party space, and it won’t be quite the traffic jam when the food is offered.
You worried that your smaller party guests would be bored, so you’ve booked some talent- like face painting! Realize that you really only need one activity happening at a time, and this includes the food. Kids are often torn between activities, leaving a frustrated and hungry parent wishing they could just sit and eat. Food should be offered first, with catering starting when you indicated on your invitation, and entertainment booked after a good hour of food. This ensures that the kids will actually eat, and late comers will also have a chance to get a face painting! The only exception to this is the bounce house which goes up first and stays up. It is actually a sure-fire way for lost party guests to find your event!
As the party planner/host/parent/bouncer you will be stretched very thin the day of your party. Remembering that your bookings need to be paid is pretty far down the list, and nobody likes asking for money directly. Make small envelopes beforehand written out to each vendor with proper payment inside, and keep them close by- a purse or designated safe spot. If you don’t feel like relentlessly watching the clock, “hire” one of the young teens in the family to be in charge. They can help with paying your vendors in a timely manner, or any job really, and you can relax and enjoy your hard work!
I hope this helps, and stay tuned for more party tips!